Chatbots & the customer experience – a transforming force

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Published on January 24, 2018

Chatbots are used by companies for the communication and interaction with customers, through this they will transform the customer experience in the coming years. Chatbots work efficiently, user-friendly and fast, creating a pleasant experience as well for the company as for the customers. Chatbots are increasingly used by companies: almost 80% of companies think about integrating Chatbots into their customer service strategy by 2020, while 62% are likely to reach this goal by 2018. But what is the benefit of using Chatbots?

The benefits

1. A personal customer experience

A big advantage of Chatbots is that they add a personal touch to the customer experience. Chatbots give customers the feeling that they have their own account manager, because the Chatbot has access to all their background information and can provide the customer with customized advice. They give customers the feeling that they really pay attention to them, which gives them confidence in the company. This may sound crazy and illogical, because the customers are chatting with machines, but this is really the feeling that the interaction with Chatbots evokes in many people. Many people do not even realize that they are chatting with a machine. And even though they realize this, many people appreciate the charismatic, attentive and funny character that many Chatbots have.

2. 24/7 available

In today’s globalized world, it is a big advantage for a company to be reachable 24/7. Companies often have customers all over the world and their customer service can not only take into account one specific time zone. Furthermore, customers also find it convenient when they can reach customer service outside regular working hours. Let’s face it, problems can also occur in the evening or in the weekend. A Chatbot is always available and is therefore the perfect solution for a quick and efficient answer.

3. Excellent language skills

Thanks to current Artificial Intelligence (AI) possibilities, Chatbots can now understand language almost as well as a real customer service employee and can even formulate answers that show their personality. Furthermore, Chatbots can also detect the mood of the customer and respond to this. Over time, the AI of Chatbots will only improve further and the conversation will become more and more human.

4. Efficiency and low costs

Customer service employees need training and will make mistakes from time to time. However, a Chatbot is much more efficient and ready for its new function within a few hours. This saves a lot of costs for a company. But rest assured, it is not the case that Chatbots will take over all jobs. The Chatbot can focus mainly on the repetitive, simple tasks, while the customer service staff can focus on more complex questions and customer needs.

The disadvantages of Chatbots

Nothing is perfect and neither is the Chatbot. There are of course also people who do not like it at all that their problems are handled by machines. This is often the case with the older generations. For example, 1 out of 5 customers gets frustrated by the idea that they are helped by an AI driven customer service rather than by a fellow human being. This frustration is caused by the mistrust people have in technology, or simply because people like to have a chat with someone.

Even though Chatbots now have very good language skills and can observe moods, we are certainly not ready for all customer contact via Chatbots. However, Chatbots can be an excellent addition to a business strategy, create a healthy relationship between customers and the company, increase efficiency and keep costs under control.

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